Date of Award

Winter 1994

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Studies

Committee Director

Mark Fravel

Committee Member

Jack E. Robinson

Committee Member

Katherine T. Bucher

Committee Member

Jane Hager

Committee Member

Stephen Greiner


Concerns about the lack of intrinsic motivation among students has been associated with behaviorism's emphasis on extrinsic rewards and with a general societal trend toward materialism. Teachers frequently comment that many students seem to have little interest in learning. This research examined one factor in student motivation, lesson delivery style.

Four 7th grade classes, two different classes from two different schools, were used, resulting in 69 subjects. Poetry was read to classes with either an aesthetic or a bland delivery style. The behavioral response of the students was noted as to whether or not they were indicative of physiological arousal. The students' written responses were rated in the domains of composition and style and the subdomains of vividness of language, voice and tone using the Virginia Literacy Passport Test (LPT) scoring procedures.

Background information obtained included student sixth grade scores on the Composition and Style Domains of the LPT Writing test, scores on the Bett's Questionnaire of Mental Imagery (QMI), scores on the Affective Orientation (AO) Scale, gender, and school of attendance. The data was analyzed using factor analysis, canonical correlation and multiple regressions.

Relationships were found between AO and performance on the subdomains, which may have been modified by lesson delivery style. QMI was found to be related to performance on the composition and style domains. Lesson delivery style was related to the behavioral response of students and both were related to only one writing postmeasure, a negative relationship to vividness of language.